Monday’s Music Moves Me: The Robert Cray Band, “Bad Influence”

First of all: I am your guest conductor for the month of October, which means I should be putting the Linky here in my blog. Unfortunately, since I’m a cheapskate, I can’t embed Javascript into my posts. Therefore, if you’re participating in MMMM this week, you might want to head to Cathy’s or Alana’s and add the link to the Linky there. Thanks!

When I first heard Robert Cray’s hit single, "Smoking Gun," back in 1986, my reaction was that this was a new take on the blues, one that took Muddy, the Wolf, Buddy and Junior, and the others, and added a sense of melody, mixing in elements of soul and rock and still making it sound like something you might hear in one of the blues clubs on the South Side of Chicago. Of course, I ran out and bought the album, Strong Persuader, and played the grooves off of it, and wondered when he’d come out with another album, because I needed more.

That’s when I learned that Strong Persuader was in fact Robert’s fourth album, that there were three previous albums, two on High Tone Records and one on a small label called Tomato Records. I ran out and bought those three on cassette (remember that format?) and played them until they wore out and wrapped themselves around the capstan in my Honda’s tape deck. (See how far we’ve come?)

Anyway, Cathy played Strong Persuader on her blog yesterday (she does MMMM on Sunday), and I thought that was a great idea, so I’m playing his second album, 1983’s Bad Influence.

The track list, from Wikipedia:

  1. "Phone Booth" (Robert Cray, Richard Cousins, Dennis Walker, Mike Vannice) (3:32)
  2. "Bad Influence" (Cray, Mike Vannice) (2:56)
  3. "Grinder" (Cray, David Amy) (4:09)
  4. "To Make a Comeback" (Eddie Floyd, Joe Shamwell) (5:52)
  5. "So Many Women, So Little Time" (Oscar Washington, David Amy, N.T. Clemens) (4:01)
  6. "Where Do I Go from Here" (Cray, Mike Vannice, Dennis Walker) (4:03)
  7. "Waiting for the Tide to Turn" (Cray, Mike Vannice, Dennis Walker) (3:31)
  8. "March On’" (Cray) (2:25)
  9. "Don’t Touch Me" (Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Shawn Dewey) (3:25)
  10. "No Big Deal" (Cray, David Amy) (4:14)
  11. "Share What You’ve Got, Keep What You Need" (Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper) (3:50)
  12. "I Got Loaded" (Robert Camille) (3:37)

Album personnel:

  • Robert Cray – vocals, guitar
  • Richard Cousins – bass
  • David Olson – drums
  • Mike Vannice – keyboards, tenor saxophone
  • Warren Rand – alto saxophone
  • David Li – percussion on "No Big Deal"
  • "Night Train" Clemens, Philip Walker, Tony Mathews – backing vocals on "So Many Women, So Little Time"

Hope you’ve enjoyed Robert Cray’s Bad Influence. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for October 4, 2021.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Cathy, Alana, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

11 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: The Robert Cray Band, “Bad Influence”

  1. Two Robert Cray albums in a week. I knew the name but not much else – maybe a song or two, here or there. I’m loving what I am hearing. Alana ramblinwitham

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  2. I enjoyed listening to all the music from this unique musician. He has blues, with jazz and island music…It was really great listening to him. I asked my brother if he heard of him (no response yet).

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  3. Happy Monday, John. I wrote on Cathy’s post yesterday about seeing Robert Cray as the opening act for Eric Clapton many years ago. He was almost better than Clapton (Eric redeemed himself at the end when he played my favorite, “Wonderful Tonight.”). I downloaded a couple of Cray’s songs after that. Bad Influence is one of them.

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    1. Hearing him for the first time rekindled my interest in music. He is a fantastic guitarist, a good singer and songwriter, and seems like a genuinely good person. I can believe that he was better than Clapton, who was very high on him.

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  4. John,

    I’m glad you used Robert Cray’s second album this morning. At first I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read your title. I thought, what are the odds of this happening and that’s when I got a little further into your post. I’m tickled you decided to feature his music, too. I really enjoyed Cray’s Bad Influence album. I love his bluesy vibe.

    We’re super delighted to have you as this month’s honorary co-host on 4M. Have a boogietastic week, my friend!

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